Monthly Archives: May 2007

Star Struck: the beginning (2)

link from another entry in a blog

what is a metal?

btw, i had a terrible terrible sleep last night. either it was too cold or my bed isnt comfy anymore. i work up at 2am, 4am, 6am, 630am, 7am, 715am, 725am, 740am…. and have been surfing ever since……. got to go to sch now…..

see you….

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Posted by on May 29, 2007 in i-Blabber, i-Typical


John C Maxwell (chapter 2)

5 weeks after i said i’ll read the second chapter a week later……

Key to forming good relationships is understanding. Maxwell cites an example:

“Leaving my four year old son in the house, i ran out to throw something in the trash. When i tried to open the door to get back inside, it was locked. I knew that insisting that my son open the door would have resulted in an hour long battle of the wills. So in a sad voice, I said, “Oh, too bad. You just locked yourself in the house.” The door opened at once.”

understanding others will allow effective communication and team work. one of the biggest mistake is to convince others that your ideas and feelings have the highest priority. cos then they will not be so open to your ideas, since they feel their ideas hold no position. he says, “If you can learn to understand people – how they think, what they feel, what inspires them, how they’re likely to act and react in a given situation – then you can motivate and influence them in a positive way”

among the many reasons why ppl do not (try to) understand others is self centeredness. because he wants the best for himself. he thinks he’s always right. Art Mortell shared his experience.

“Whenever I’m losing at chess, I consistently get up and stand behind my opponent and see the board from his side. Then I discover the stupid moves I’ve made because I can see it from his viewpoint”

so here are the things everybody needs to understand about ppl.

1. Everybody wants to be somebody: everybody desires to to be someone. to have significance. to be regarded highly by others

2. Nobody cares how much you know until he knows how much you care: Paradoxical Commandments of Leadership

3. Everybody needs somebody: everybody needs friendship and encouragement and help. a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

4. Everybody can be somebody when somebody understands and believes her: it doesnt take much effort to help others feel important. of course, it has to be sincere. the investment required on your part is totally overshadowed by the impact it makes on them.

5. Anybody who helps somebody influences alot of bodies: you see, the impact you make on helping someone will multiply when that person helps another one. when motives are good, you always recieve more than you can ever give.


The least important word: I
The most important word: We
The two most important words: Thank You
The three most important words: All is forgiven
The four most important words: What is your opinion?
The five most important words: You did a good job
The six most important words: I want to understand you better.

and because this is abt leadership and stuff… here’s extra reading for those interested.

Chapter 3: Believing in people before thy have proved themselves is the key to motivating people to reach their potential

Hopefully it wont take another 5 weeks to read chapter 3…

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Posted by on May 28, 2007 in i-Reflect


mystery behind bermuda triangle

students asked me more than 4 wks ago, abt what i thought abt the Bermuda triangle, and ive been wanting to do my own research on it for yrs….

anyhow, i told the students that i thought there must be a perfectly logical, scientific explanation for the disappeances, because things cant just disappear…. (what to do, im a left-brainer and a scientist. i believe in logical explanations)

so while i tried to tell them that currents could have carried sunken ships away, they rebuted me with the unexplained disappearances of aircrafts.

so here goes.

the area lies between Bermuda, Miami and Pueto rico. there’s a group who believe it is a triangle. but theres also a group which notes that there have been strange losses outside this triangle, and so they postulate a trapezium.  

the first reported incident was made by Christopher Columbus, where he and his crew members noted dancing lights on the horizon and disappearing matter. there’ve been many famous unexplained disappearances such as an entire squadron of planes (Flight 19) in 1945, and the USS Cyclops.

and scientists have come up with logical theories on why things disappear in this region.

1. Gulf Stream: strong undercurrent, possibly caused by caribbean-atlantic weather could drag off any sunken vessels very quickly. this weather could also cause waterspouts, which could cause aircrafts to malfunction, sink and then get dragged away.

(talk abt waterspouts, apparently, there was one 10-min waterspout that happened in east coast yesterday, if im not wrong. how come im never lucky enough to witness such great stuff!!!!!!! humph!)

2. Methane gas: as we know, large amounts of methane may be found deep in the earth. if land masses under the ocean move to release enough methane gas, this would reduce the density of the water. causing vessels to sink. it is said that methane might be released into the air, reducing density of air, causing aircrafts to blow.

3. Magnetic variation: it seems that the compass, which usually points to Magnetic North, doesnt point to Magnetic North when its within the triangle. instead, it points to True North. so this might cause navigation errors. although i think that sailors should be able to anticipate this error in compass directions and compensate as necessary.

scientists have also come up with illogical explanations (as i think they are)

1. Time interval: i have no idea how to rephrase this cos i kind of dont understand it.

2. Crystals: some powerful “fire-crystal” is supposedly in the bottom of the ocean in that triangle area, and it sends out energy waves that is able to interfere with ships and aircrafts.

3. Crystal sphere: this psychic found a crystal while swimming and had psychic visions on the supernatural powers of this crystal. it had no algae growing on it, was brightly lit although there was on direct light source. when another psychic saw the crystal, she had this premonition that the crystal belonged to this Egyptian God who buried the secret vault of knowledge. the sphere is apparently supernatural. with healing powers, magnetic vibrations, temperature difference and such…..

so….thats as far as these theories go. but i definitely had an interesting time reading abt Flight 19 and these theories. i didnt know that methane reduces density of air and water. interesting…

as i was doing my research, i came across an article, part of which is this:

Existence is so complex even the simplest form of life beggar our imagination. “To grasp the reality of life as it has been revealed by molecular biology, we must magnify a cell a thousand million times until it is twenty kilometers in diameter and resembles a giant airship large enough to cover a great city like London or New York. What we would then see would be an object of unparrelled complexity and adaptive design. On the surface of the cell we would see millions of openings, like the port holes of a vast space ship, opening and closeing to allow a continual stream of materials to flow in and out. If we were to enter one of these openings we would find ourselves in a world of supreme technology and belwidlering complexity . . . Is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest elements of which—a functional protein or gene—is complex beyond our own creative capacities, a reality which is the very antithesis of chance, which excels in every sense anything produced by the intelligence of man?” —Dr. Michael Denton, Phd Microbiology.
  Beyond the cell is the complexity of things not seen—gravity, magnetism . . .Time. “Softly, softly, they creep about us” to paraphrase Lewis Carroll. They leave a teasing trail of themselves, one quietly points to the other then flees before we can ponder.
   Black holes exist in space, where gravity is so strong the light cannot escape, where not even time can be registered for the clock would stop, where everything vanishes.  Just of what is the Universe capable and all its elements?

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Posted by on May 27, 2007 in i-Marvel


self-identity: the lack of

among the many psychologists i’ve read about previously, im proud to say i like Freud. though i know many disagree with his theories, i kind of feel that they dwell deep into the truth of human behaviour, and not just those that ppl want to hear about.

you know, he didnt just come up with the psychosexual theories. he’s come up with many more. but that at another time. one of Freud’s followers was Erikson. the guy who came up with 8 stages of life.

1. up to 18 mths: Trust vs Mistrust
2. 18 mths to 3 yrs: Autonomy vs shame/doubt
3. 3 to 6 yrs: Initiative vs Guilt
4. 6 to 12 yrs: Industry vs Inferiority
5. 12 to 18 yrs: Identity vs Role confusion
6. 18 to 40 yrs: Intimacy vs Isolation
7. 40 to 65 yrs: Generativity vs Stagnation
8. 65 yrs on: Egointegrity vs Despair

and its interesting how the 8 pairs of characteristics permutate and play out in an individual’s life.

by the time these kids come to us, they may have no trust in themselves and the world, be in shame and guilt, and feel inferior to others. how then can we expect these kids to have a good self identity? imagine having to clear 12 yrs of negative thoughts abt oneself.

undeniably so, the kids will have to fight it out in a scholastic world, where image is everything. you cant expect kids at 13/14 yrs of age to say, “i may be fat, but i know im smart and i have good presentation skills and am able to rally ppl.” that much of self confidence is not easy to achieve at that age.

so if someone feels inferior because he feels he doesnt look as good as someone else, he’s going to try to get that image that everyone else wants to see him in. stylish hair, tucked out shirts, etc…..

but underneath all that portrayal, lies someone who’s hiding behind all that accessories.

as Tyra always says in Top Model, a girl has to depend on her character to make her beautiful when all her hair is cut and she goes bald, cos she cant hide behind all that hair any longer.

and we all saw how one of the girls in the recent season just lose her self confidence when her long hair was cut short. she felt like a boy, she didnt think she was as beautiful as the others…..

so you’d realise that this inferiority carries on till adulthood.

what kind of a person are you if you spend less than $30 on a haircut? you actually bother to take bus everyday? you dont like diamonds? you drive a BMW convert? your guess watch costs less than $500? you havent been to the latest restaurant in town where you wont leave without paying $200 pax?

such importance placed on the outside.

when you introduce yourself, you’d probably say, “i’m a teacher”, “i’m a doctor”, “i’m an aircraft specialist”. which is why ppl lose their confidence when they lose their jobs. because they have nothing to identify themselves with. they are nothing without their jobs.

who describes themselves with respect to character or believes?

sad, that things have gotten to this. and if adults cant find their identity, what more, kids. can we blame them for trying to look good in school.

afterall, when i was schooling, high socks was not allowed. now, ankle socks arent allowed. but bottom line is the same. as a school, we want students to look smart, and not like models……

its all got to do with self confidence. too bad, self confidence now comes with an external casing.

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Posted by on May 26, 2007 in i-Reflect


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Posted by on May 26, 2007 in Uncategorized


hormones making a whole lot of difference

you know that thing in your body, that chemical messengers that violate every body cell, the one that comes out when you realise there’s a crocodile on your back…. that thing that gets you all flushed and alert……

ya.. that thing.. that stupid hormone, that stupid adrenaline is kind of clinging on to me at the moment….

you see, its week 10 already. and it doesnt feel like week 10. feels like i still have 3 more weeks to pass. this friday is supposingly the last day of sch. although we all know there’s much to be done in the holidays, which may not always be considered a full holiday.

so im busy everyday this week after sch, except monday, which has passed. suffice to say, im busy everyday this week. thats totally irritating me cos its supposed to be the last week and im not feeling like this is the last week.

and my pent up anger and bad mood is causing loads and loads of adreline to rush out. and it looks like i could last another 10 weeks without a 4 week break inbetween.

why cant my body just release happy hormones like dopamine and melatonin and acetycholine and and endorphins and stuff like that…. argh….

and im not the only one angry today. saw another collegue’s face (not mentioning his name), like i’ve never seen him before. it looked like he wanted to explode. i didnt even dare to talk to him like i usually do. although he was nice and spoke to me nicely, but his face…… was terrible. red and tensed. scary man. wonder what happened.

anyway, im going to go shoot tomorrow. blast off the irritants in my head. i still need to prepare consent forms. die. have to get it done tomorrow! or the kids arent going to get it. oh gosh… holiday assignment! argh argh argh!!!!!!!! maths meeting tomorrow, havent setted my RADAR, review of maths paper, follow up on some students…..

too many things… and my recent spate of bad mood isnt helping. seriously. i feel my mind telling me to revolt. sigh….

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Posted by on May 22, 2007 in i-Sad, i-Typical


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Posted by on May 15, 2007 in i-Sad, i-Twinge


“Happiness is God given”

i felt rather light today. emotionally light. i was happy, thanks to last night. sharing my thoughts. reassurance. as crazy as it sounds, i found myself smiling to myself at times. one corner of my lips just raised a little….

happiness is such a privilege isnt it. ppl take happiness for granted. others think they deserve it. others believe they have found happiness, when they are just deluding themselves. i think, most of us spend our lives not realising true happiness.

we complain abt not having a big house, not having a car, not having a diamond bracelet, etc and we forget that there are ppl who dont have a roof over their heads, dont have legs to travel, dont have hands to feed themselves……..

and often times, these are the ppl who have achieved alot in life.

there’s a reason why i dont like to watch shows like True Courage. cos with each story, i feel so guilty. if someone had to go through more trouble than i have, and can still find the strength to accomplish something, then why am i not doing anything abt my life?

seriously, true happiness is not easy to find.

all these material gains that we have and want are not going to make us happy. and it usually the small things in life that make us happy. or make the happiness last.

and happiness also lies in making others happy…….. just a little show of concern. a small written note when someone is tired. a snack to keep someone going through the day. a little pat on the back…… well… i happen to be someone who appreciates such stuff… which is why i try to do little stuff for ppl im closer to.

try doing it…….. it’ll make you happy as much as it’ll surprise the other person….

last yr, for Science Giving and Sharing, i made everyone a star, and i wrote in it, “Blessed are, the pure in heart”.

its actually a phrase from the Mahabharata. though some ppl thought it was a verse from the Bible. but what does it matter….. the meaning is still the same.

i believe true happiness comes with you have no evil intentions, pure in thought, sincere in actions and true to everyone around you……


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Posted by on May 12, 2007 in i-Happy, i-Reflect


changing education landscape

not only has the syllabus gone through some major changes since i left sch, but the emphasis on teaching techniques has also changed. when i first became a teacher, i found myself asking questions i didnt even ask when i studied for exams. and thats because i found students asking “but why?” and “why wont it happen this way?”

then i realised the need to start teaching for understanding. but of course, this means the syllabus covered in the time allocated to us must be reasonable.

i kind of wish that with the syllabus for sec 2 bio being brought down to sec 1, they had given us more time during lessons. but to complete 1.5 yrs of syllabus within 1 yr, and to teach it effectively seems to me like a tall order.

maybe doing away with the mid and final yr exams are applaudable. but of cos, the parents genuine concern that that wont prepare them for the written O level exams.

which is why we only do this for sec 1s. inevitably, the sec 2 teachers might have to go to that extra bit of trouble watching the way students answer questions during major exams.

well, pros and cons.

examinations. given the time we have to teach vs what we hope to achieve from educating the kids, seriously consider how effective can an all rounded education be. which is why most of the time, educating becomes teaching, regardless of whether students are learning.

and the simplest way out is to teach what they are going to be assessed on. which could ultimately become, “memorise the way to do this, and we will be correct and score high marks”. since what we teach is based on what they are being assessed on, there’s just one answer. why is it that Singaporeans do very well in international academic competitions?

though there’s been positive change in the type of questions they ask. more interpretive, critical thinking questions which require the application of prior knowledge.

and that tests their understanding. and of course, that boils down to who understands more.

my sch did away with mid and final yr exams for selected sec 1 subjects. cant talk much abt it here cos that would require clearance from boss, but having been the hot topic for discussions in the education circle, it seems that this is a controversial step forward. formative assessment vs summative assessment. that is, assessment for learning vs assessment of learning.

so i suppose questions should differ too right?

thats what we do when we question students for their TLLM projects. i’ll put up some questions after the remaining 2 groups have presented.

and then you’ll realise that to test for student understanding, the students must first realise the basics. which ends up being tested as plain theoretical ones. and can you imagine students failing in those, and then us having to pause and pause and pause to make sure they understand the concepts before we carry on.

and then some students understand more quickly then others, and then the dilemma on whether we should move on or re-teach. and the easy way out becomes remedial after school….

the change is happening.

the practicals now are different from the practical exams we’ve had. although i was very much against the idea of SPA, ive come to see that it does assess students on different aspects. i still have my doubts. but, i mean, i dont seem to have a better alternative, so, SPA will be just fine.

and then of cos the govt officials study education models of other countries to adapt the best solutions.

and change in ministerial bodies will bring new policies. and that’ll change the education landscape.

i suppose, ultimately, it boils down to teaching and learning in the class. the depth of their understanding will show when they relate theories to new situations. when they can evaluate the data given to them and infer even though the questions are twisted. when they are able to ask intelligent questions. and when they are able to evaluate the consequences of their actions.

that, of course, would be fantastic.

but back to the practicalities of the current situations……………………. it seems to me, that there is only one direction. exams.

so sad. i have the potential to mould these kids into the best possible ones for the world, and i dont seem to feel that the current situations allow for that.

just my personal thoughts.


Posted by on May 10, 2007 in i-Reflect, i-Typical, i-Wish


anxiety attack!


mark these papers and you want to just go and bang your head each time the students work out the correct answer but write it down wrongly.

tell me!!! i should really go and bang my head somewhere… or

why should i hurt myself! i should bang their heads somewhere!

i should smash their heads against hard rocks!

or… i could make them wear a board that says “im too careless. i should get zero marks!” and walk around sch.. 

or………….. i could convict them under military law under the charge of not following The Order. The Order of Operations. and then rightfully, lawfully, i could kneel them down in front of a sand pit and blow their brains out!

granted. im evil.

but you should see the kind of careless mistakes these kids make! it’ll drive you crazy! it really does!

but maybe its my fault. not enough understanding? not enough practice? confused?

now im marking their paper 2………. looks bad to me. pretty bad. sigh. BIG SIGH.

i still have no idea how my babies are doing cos another teacher’s marking the P1 scripts. hmmmmmm…….


Posted by on May 8, 2007 in i-Blabber, i-Wish


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